Dissertation vs Thesis: Similarities and Differences

Dissertation vs Thesis: Similarities and Differences
Dissertation vs Thesis: Similarities and Differences

Are you one of those people who have always thought that a dissertation and a thesis are the same? Well, here we are to break it out to you that they are similar, but not the same. While there are many similarities between the two academic works, there are several differences as well.

Don’t worry, there are many individuals who tend to believe the same. Both being long-form academic works, one can easily get confused between the two. This is why we Best Assignment Helper in UK are here! This blog will draw a detailed comparison between a thesis and a dissertation, highlighting all the major differences and similarities.

Before we dive right into the details, let’s first understand what each term means.

Thesis: What is it?

An academic piece of research work, a thesis is typically submitted by a student pursuing a master’s degree. The key aim of a thesis is to enable students to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge within the subject matter. It is based on the existing research.

Ideally, a thesis is structured in a fixed format, based on the university guidelines. Often, the following components are required in a thesis:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Table of Figures
  • Chapters (Body)
  • Results/Conclusion

Dissertation: What is it?

Compared to a thesis, a dissertation is a lengthier piece of written work that comprises expanded research on the existing research or original research on a new topic. This takes place during the doctoral program. The student is free to choose the topic for exploration. Upon completion of the same, he is awarded with a Ph.D.

Generally, a student is required to follow the following format for a dissertation:

  • Title page
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review and Theoretical Framework
  • Methodology
  • Findings/Results
  • Discussion and Interpretation of Findings
  • Conclusion
  • Reference List
  • Appendices

Dissertation vs Thesis Key Differences

The key difference between a dissertation and a thesis is with regard to research. While a thesis is based entirely on existing research, a doctoral student is required to perform original or expanded research on a new or current topic and further perform analysis. In essence, a thesis showcases that a student is well-informed about the topic studied during the course. On the other hand, a dissertation provides the student with an opportunity to contribute to the existing literature.

Another major difference is associated with the degree – a student pursuing a master’s works on a thesis, whereas a student pursuing a Ph.D. works on a dissertation.

In addition, a thesis and a dissertation are different in the following aspects.

  • Length: A thesis is generally written in 100 pages. However, a dissertation is over double that length and comprises information related to research and background.
  • Oral Presentation: Research works are followed by presentations. While a thesis presentation can be completed within an hour, an oral presentation following dissertation completion can take several hours.
  • Time: A thesis is written during a two-year program, whereas a dissertation can take four to seven years.
  • Level of Difficulty: A dissertation is typically more difficult than a thesis since it is lengthier and requires new contributions in the field.

 Dissertation vs Thesis Key Similarities

While a dissertation and a thesis are academic works of a doctoral and master’s respectively, they share several characteristics.

  • Final Projects: Both are final projects and their completion is mandatory to obtain a degree in the respective field.
  • Skills Requirement: Written skills, analytical skills, and a clear comprehension of the research problem are crucial to the completion of both.
  • Research Questions: Both forms of academic pieces are required to address specific research questions.
  • Ethics: Students must follow ethical practices while documenting and analyzing research data.
  • Content Originality: Plagiarism is not acceptable in both academic works.
  • Editing and Proofreading: It is crucial to edit and thoroughly proofread both works before submission.

Where Are You Studying?

In case you are pursuing a master’s degree and are required to complete a dissertation at the end of the program, you might be confused by everything that’s mentioned above. Well, the two terms are used interchangeably and their use is highly dependent on the location.

  • Europe:

    Countries with British-based academic systems generally use the word dissertation to refer to an academic piece completed at the end of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. For doctoral programs, the academic piece is called a thesis.

  • United States:

    Compared to the British system, the words are used reversely in countries with American academic systems.Irrespective of the country, sometimes even two departments of the same university use the two words interchangeably. In such cases, stick to the words that your department and course utilize.


Dissertation vs Thesis: The Final Word

A dissertation and a thesis are two different academic works with some similarities. Now that you have read this blog, we believe you have a better understanding of the differences and similarities between the two.

At Best Assignment Helper in UK Assignment Helper Team, we are focused on helping students complete their assignments and score high grades without worry. So, if you are facing any issues regarding your thesis, dissertation, or any other academic work, contact us today. Assignment Helper Team is here to offer help so your mind can be at ease.